A message from the Dean

Welcome to another edition of This Month in CAS! As usual, there are many initiatives that are ongoing in the College, and this month’s edition details some of them.


Diversity and Inclusion are ideas that must be central to who we are as an institution.  The Office of the Provost is directing a number of initiatives focused on these important ideas, including the Sustained Dialog program you have heard about, which is focused on classrooms and students.  For faculty and administration, Interim Provost Denise Cobb is working with two of our colleagues in CAS, Drs. Bryan Jack and Jessica Harris from Historical Studies, and has asked each unit to create a Diversity and Inclusion Committee, to help think through these issues, and implement some ongoing processes.


My thanks to Doug Simms and the CAS Congress for helping to identify CAS colleagues willing to serve on this important committee.  Thanks to everyone who offered their time and talents. The ad hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee members for the 2016-17 academic year are the following:


Tisha Brooks, Assistant Professor, English Language and Literature

Cheryl Eames, Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

Brandon Guthrie, CAS Academic Advising

Diane Hayes, Instructor, Applied Communication Studies

Florence Maätita, Associate Professor, Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies

Shavonda Mitchom, CAS Director of Business Affairs

Jill Schreiber, Assistant Professor, Social Work

Eric Voss, Professor, Chemistry

Victoria Wallen, Office Support Associate, CAS Advising


Increasing the SIUE footprint in the Metro St. Louis area has been an early em

Dean of CAS College of Arts and Sciences Gregory Budzban 08-07-15

Dean of CAS College of Arts and Sciences Gregory Budzban 08-07-15

phasis for our new Chancellor Randy Pembrook.  One way to do this is through interaction with the business community in the region, and the T-Rex incubator is an excellent resource for this.  You can read about our relationship with T-Rex here. We have a number of faculty who have T-Rex memberships, but I would like to begin offering student memberships as well, for those students who could benefit from the experience.  I’ve asked Sarah Van Slette, in Applied Communication Studies, to help coordinate our student membership program, and she has agreed.  Sarah is deeply involved in the Metro St. Louis incubator network, and does a great job with the ACS student internship program.  If you have students who you think would benefit from a T-REX membership, please contact Sarah.


Our recent fall meeting produced some great feedback from the survey we conducted.  Thank you to everyone who contributed a comment/concern.  We will be working to address these as we move forward.  The organized input can be found here.  We are currently working on many of the issues that were highlighted, including working with the support staff to streamline some of the work processes in CAS, and working with the chairs to reduce unnecessary workload requirements, but I will continue to address these concerns over the course of this academic year.


Recruiting has become such a critical component of what we do as a College.  As most of you know, this Saturday October 29th is our first Explore CAS day, where we will be hosting new potential students and their families on campus.  Thank you to everyone who has had a hand in organizing and staffing this important event.  More on the details of this event in next month’s column.


I want to include in each column something that has come to my attention as a potentially Important Idea.   The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system always increases over time.  In fact, it is arguably the only law that contains within it an “arrow of time”, providing at least some indication why the flow of time has a particular “direction”.  It’s implications are wide-ranging across the sciences and it could be argued that it was part of the insight that led Marx to posit a “classless society” (=one energy state) as the asymptotic result of History.  Thus, anything which indicates there may be ways “around” the second law is a potentially Important Idea.  See the link below:




Finally, we have a question from one of our colleagues concerning program prioritization.


Can you update us where the conversations are right now on program prioritization, and give us information on what criteria are being used to come up with recommendations?  Are these recommendations all to be data driven or is recognition to be given to the nature of SIUE as a broadly based liberal arts and sciences institution?


Thanks for this important and timely question.  At last week’s Dean’s Council meeting, Interim Provost Denise Cobb gave the deans an update on the current status of the process. While the first few months have been hectic for Chancellor Pembrook, he does not want to lose the momentum from the work of last year’s University Congress.  Dr. Cobb will be soon starting the planning phase of the prioritization process and the leadership of that planning committee is as follows.


Academic Prioritization:


Denise Cobb, Interim Provost

Jen Rehg, Anthropology

Jonathan Pettibone, Psychology


Administrative Prioritization:


Lora Miles, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs

Rich Walker, Interim Vice-Chancellor for Administration

Duff Wrobbel, Applied Communication Studies


The hope is to have a process in place to present to the University Planning and Budget Committee and University Quality Council, perhaps in a “retreat” setting, in December.  However, no decisions about the criteria nor the type of data that will be used have been made.


Thanks for this month’s question! Please continue to send questions that you want me to address to college_arts_sciences@siue.edu

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